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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sonoma County


Lewis Herbert

While the distinction of being a pioneer of Sonoma county is not claimed by Mr. Herbert, he has resided here for a period sufficiently long to enable him to acquire a thorough knowledge of the soil, climate and people, and his testimony, based upon experience and observation, adds valuable information to the concensus of opinion regarding the attractions of the region. In the vicinity of Penn Grove he owns and occupies a small tract which he has converted into a poultry ranch. While he has been variously engaged during different eras of his active life, his preference is for agriculture in any of its branches, while in the department of recreation he is especially fond of fishing and many a fine catch has borne silent but effective testimony as to his skill with the line. At this writing he has on his place two thousand hens of the leghorn breed, from which he derived a net income, over and above all expenses, of $1,400 in 19-09, and in the preceding year he netted $1,600 from the flock of chickens.

The Herbert family is of French extraction and was founded in America by Francois and Marie (Anglies) Herbert, natives of France, the former born in 1804, the latter in 1810. After their marriage they crossed the ocean to Canada and later became farmers of Vermont, where they reared three children, having besides their son two daughters, Marie and Fanna. The elder daughter married Alexander Gadona and has five children, Frank, Moses, Emma, Julia and Caroline. Fanna became Mrs. Elmer Lincoln and has a son, Elmer, Jr. Born in Vermont in 1852, Lewis Herbert was given a common=school education in that state and there learned the principles of agriculture as conducted in that region. Upon starting out for himself he went to Nebraska in 1876 and took up a tree claim and a homestead in Greeley county, acquiring the title to three hundred and twenty acres of land in one body. During the twelve years of his residence there he became prominent in agricultural activities and also in public affairs.

Appreciating the value of his citizenship the neighbors of Mr. Herbert repeatedly called him to fill offices of trust and responsibility. For six months he acted as constable and for two years he served as township assessor, after which he held office as county commissioner for three years. Among the other important office that he held were those of county clerk and clerk of the district court of Greeley county, in which capacities he labored for two years. In addition he held a position as deputy county treasurer for two years and later was commissioned postmaster of Scotia, Greeley county. At the expiration of three years he resigned the office of postmaster and in 1891 he removed to Colorado Springs, Colorado, whence two years later he came to California. The first employment he secured in the west was as conductor on a street-car line in San Francisco. At the expiration of a year he came to Sonoma county in 1893 and settled at Cotati, later buying twelve acres near Penn Grove, where now he makes his home. For four years he served as deputy postmaster at Penn Grove and for seven years he filled the office of school trustee with characteristic efficiency. Since coming to this county he has joined the Fraternal Brotherhood at Petaluma and formerly he held membership with Crystal Lodge No. 180, F. & A. M., in Nebraska.

The marriage of Mr. Herbert united him with Olive Williams, who was born in Ohio in 1864 and by whom he has seven children, namely: Paul L.; Lewis, Jr.; Walter E.; Beulah, a trained nurse and a graduate from St. Winifred hospital in San Francisco; Mildred L., Ruth A. and Florence J. Mrs. Herbert is a daughter of Lewis Williams, who was born in Ohio in 1828. The family of which she was a member comprised seven children besides herself, namely: Grant, Ross, Lavina, Celia, Rose, Flora and Belle. Grant is married and has three children, Charles, Florence and Lucille. Ross married Amelia Brueur and they have a daughter, Dorothy. Lavina, Mrs. James Winninger, has three children, Rillis, Charles and Blanche. Celia, Mrs. John Fleming, is the mother of two children, Rupert and Grace. Rose married Marion Stell and has five children, John, Homer, Etha, Bessie and Ruth. Flora is the wife of Tillman Jones and the mother of a daughter, Killian, while the remaining member of the family, Belle Williams, is now the wife of Charles Fowler.

History of Sonoma County, California
Biographical Sketches of The Leading Men and Women of the County Who Have Been Identified With Its Growth and Development from the Early Days to the Present
History By: Tom Gregory
Historic Record Company, Los Angeles, California (1911)

Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011